Say Hello To The Self Sealing Tyre

Mon 1st Jul 2019

Ford Motor Company has launched an innovative new function which will see tyres that get a puncture patch up their own holes with self-sealing technology.

The tyres that fix themselves will be launched in 2020 on the Ford Explorer in the United States and will allow drivers to travel for a number of days after experiencing a puncture. Drivers will notice a gradual loss of air-pressure, or may even see a nail sticking out of their tyre, but the technology will allow drivers to go without a spare tyre and give them plenty of time to get to a garage and make a change.

Michelin have helped Ford develop the tyres and will see them also applied to a range of other car brands in the coming years. The self-sealing fix works with a viscous liquid which flows around the tyre and only flows into a puncture when needed. The system has been designed to flow into punctures only and to not allow the liquid to pool at the bottom of the tyre when the car is parked. The technology must also work in a range of different temperatures.

“When the sealant works as designed, most drivers never know it’s working. There is no pressure loss, and odds are the driver doesn’t see the object in the tire or it’s fallen out,” said Woody Rogers of online retailer Tire Rack.

“It’s important to remember self-sealing tires are not run-flat tires, and run-flat tires are not self-sealing tires,” Rogers said. “Conventional and self-sealing tires go flat without air, and the self-sealing tire works to hold in all that precious air by sealing a tread area injury. But if the puncture hole is too large, or the damage is in the sidewall, then self-sealing tires don’t solve the problem.

“Run-flat tires aren’t self-sealing, but if they do get punctured or are damaged in the sidewall they can support the weight of the vehicle and cope with driving up to 50 miles at 50 mph even with zero pressure.”